Charles Schwab Challenge

Colonial Country Club


Sergio Is Disqualified

August 10, 2007

He's on his way home.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Another bad break for Sergio Garcia: This one got him disqualified from the PGA Championship.

Garcia got the boot Saturday for signing an incorrect scorecard after the third round. In tournament golf, players keep each other's scores. Garcia's playing partner, Boo Weekley, put down a 4 for Garcia on the 17th hole when the Spaniard actually made a 5.

It's the player's responsibility to ensure his scorecard is accurate before he signs it. Garcia didn't. And when the mistake was noticed in the scoring tent, Garcia had already left.

"He just took off," Weekley said. "I called him back down and tried to get him before he got all the way up the stairs."

Garcia did, in fact, return to the scoring area, but only to be told he had been disqualified. Once he left what PGA officials call the "scoring area perimeter," his scorecard was considered turned in and not able to be changed.

Garcia had left the course and was not available for comment when his disqualification was announced.

"It's my fault for putting the wrong score in, but it's his fault for not checking," said Weekley, who shot 5-under 65. "I just said 'Sergio, I put a 4 but in fact you had a 5.' He said, 'That just puts the icing on the cake.'"

Indeed, it has been a rough week and a rough summer for Garcia. On Thursday, Garcia got into an animated argument with a course official who put his group on the clock as they made the turn. After an opening-round 70, he shot 75 the second day to fall out of contention. He made the cut with no room to spare.

At the British Open, Garcia lost to Padraig Harrington in a playoff after barely missing a putt on the 18th hole that would have won the tournament. In a memorable post-round news conference, he complained about all the breaks that go against him and all the bad luck he has.

"You know what's the saddest thing about it?" Garcia said. "It's not the first time. It's not the first time, unfortunately. So, I don't know, I'm playing against a lot of guys out there, more than the field."

This time, it was Weekley's mistake and his own carelessness that did in Garcia.

Both players three-putted on the 18th green and Garcia was furious after his second putt didn't go in. He reared back with his putter as if he was going to swing it in anger, but held back. He spent a few moments staring in disbelief at the area where he'd just putted.

Weekley's first putt was a 40-footer to make 63 and tie the all-time single-round scoring record in the majors. He missed badly, however, and wound up settling for a 65 that got him to even par for the tournament.

"When Sergio and I were fixing the divots, he asked me 'Do you want to trade?'" Weekley said. "And I said 'No, I think I like what I've got right here.' Then, as I hit the putt, I said 'Well, maybe I should've traded.'"

Who knows if both players' frustration after 18 played into the problems in the scoring tent?

What is certain is that rule 6-6.d in the USGA Rules of Golf says: "The competitor is responsible for the correctness of the score recorded for each hole on his score card. If he returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, he is disqualified."

The sport's most famous scoring gaffe came at the 1968 Masters when Roberto De Vicenzo signed for the wrong score. De Vicenzo actually signed for a higher score on a hole, so he wasn't disqualified, but he had to take the extra stroke, knocking him out of playoff with Bob Goalby. "What a stupid I am," was De Vicenzo's famous quote after the mistake.

In 2003, English journeyman Mark Roe was disqualified after shooting 67 in the third round of the British Open. Both he and Jesper Parnevik were disqualified because they forgot to exchange scorecards before they teed off, meaning they marked their own cards with the other player's scores. Roe would have gone into the final round only two strokes off the lead.

Garcia's blunder was nowhere near as dramatic. With a three-day score of 9 over, he would have been more than 15 shots off the lead heading into Sunday.

Instead, he gets Sunday off and Weekley feels bad.

"I was never good at math," Weekley said, though to be fair, that response was to a question about the FedEx Cup standings, not Garcia's scorecard.